PINES booted seven unanswered goals in 20 minutes of devastation to turn a seven-point deficit into a 35-point victory against Bonbeach on Saturday.
In a high-quality game between the top two teams in the competition, Pines was able to find something extra when it mattered most to continue its domination over the Sharks.
In his three years at the helm for Bonbeach, coach Steve Hughes has never tasted victory against the Pythons.
At the six-minute mark of the last quarter, after a see-sawing battle all afternoon, the Sharks booted a goal and went seven points up after leading at quarter time.
At that stage of the match, the first goal of the last quarter was an important one.
However, as was often the case throughout the match, the opposition was able to hit back. In this instance, Pines was devastating, booting the next seven goals of the game, winning 16.5 (101) to 10.6 (66).
There is a real resolve and maturity in this crop of Pines players. Like it did against Seaford a few weeks earlier, the Pythons were able to find something extra when the chips were down.
Pines’ stars stood up again. Guy Hendry was the best player on the ground, controlling the defensive zone and taking more than 20 marks, both contested and uncontested. His ball use was also a feature of the game.
Whether he was setting things up from half back or winning his own footy through the middle, Luke Potts was masterful, while Aaron Edwards and Tim Bongetti were first class with five goals each. ‘Bongo’ is a rare breed in this game. Coaches talk about second and third efforts, Bongetti finds a fourth, and is as classy at ground level as he is in the air.
Corey Ash was dropped a couple of times in contests by reigning league medallist Shane McDonald, but it didn’t deter the Pines stopper from completing the task, winning the battle. Ash is a genuine tagger in the modern game and wins his own footy.
Dylan Smilie is fast becoming one of the best ruckmen in the game and he clearly outpointed Bonbeach’s Dylan Jones.
In fact, young Tom Hogan was better in the ruck than Jones.
With Hendry dominating in defence, it was puzzling as a spectator not to see the Shark’s throw Jones into attack to make Hendry more accountable. Jones had zero impact on the game.
The Pythons have also found another one in Lee Hearnden, who provided sensational support in the ruck for Smilie. Not only was he good in the ruck, but Hearnden also covered the ground well and was like a 193cm midfielder.
There’s a lot to like about the 2017 Pythons. Bonbeach just needs to find a way to beat them.
Mt Eliza has set-up a match of the day showdown with Frankston YCW this weekend after controlling its match against Edithvale-Aspendale at Regents Park.
Playing for outright fifth place, the Redlegs jumped to a four-goal break in the first quarter and were never headed, winning 17.17 (119) to 10.12 (72).
Dan Gormley and Jimmy Freeman booted four goals each for the winners and Tom Freeman booted three majors while Robbie Turnball was at his best.
The Mounties will play Frankston YCW in the RPP Match of the Day on 98.7FM.
Frankston YCW had little trouble against Mornington, winning 15.16 (106) to 6.6 (42).
Josh Butland booted four and Nick King and Kyle Hutchison three each in the one-sided affair. Warwick Miller was again Mornington’s best.
Langwarrin gave Seaford a six-goal head start but went down by just nine points.
The Kangas booted 10 to six from midway through the second quarter and finished with 27 scoring shots to 26, 10.17 (77) to 12.14 (86).
The Tigers will be happy to escape with the four points in that one.
Chelsea was able to get the job done in its match against Karingal, winning 16.8 (104) to 12.7 (79).
Only six points separated the teams at half-time when Karingal hit back with eight second-quarter goals, however, Chelsea booted four unanswered goals in the third to set up the win.